Sabina Nessa killer Koci Selamaj jailed for minimum 36-year term

CCTV footage captured Selamaj striking Ms Nessa over the head 34 times with a 2ft-long metal traffic triangle, before carrying her away unconscious

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Koci Selamaj, 36, has been served a 36-year life sentence for his brutal murder of primary school teacher Sabina Nessa in London last year.

Today's sentencing at the Old Bailey went ahead despite Selamaj refusing to attend the hearing.

On September 17 last year, Selamaj drove from Eastbourne and waited around Cator Park in Kidbrooke, south-east London before targeting 28-year-old Ms Nessa as she passed through on her way to meet a friend.

CCTV footage captured the moment Selamaj attacked Ms Nessa by striking her over the head 34 times with a 2ft-long metal traffic triangle, before carrying her away unconscious.

He then pulled up her clothes, removed her tights and underwear and strangled her before covering her body in grass.

Sabina Nessa
Sabina Nessa
Supporters from the Sabina Project outside the Old Bailey, central London, ahead of the sentencing of garage worker Koci Selamaj
Supporters from the Sabina Project outside the Old Bailey, central London, ahead of the sentencing of garage worker Koci Selamaj

Reading her statement today, Sabina Nessa’s sister Jabina Islam called Selamaj a “coward” for not facing up to his crime in court.

She said: “You are an awful human being and do not deserve your name to be said. You are a disgusting animal.”

She said her sister was an “amazing role model” who was “powerful, fearless, bright and just an amazing soul”.

She described being haunted by images of what her sister went through in her last moments.

Sabina Nessa’s parents Abdur Rouf and Azibun Nessa said in a statement: “As a parent you would never have thought that your child would die before you, not in a way our Sabina died.”

Addressing her killer, they said: “You had no right to take her away from us in such a cruel way.

Supporters from the Sabina Project outside the Old Bailey, central London, ahead of the sentencing of garage worker Koci Selamaj for the murder of primary school teacher Sabina Nessa
Supporters from the Sabina Project outside the Old Bailey, central London, ahead of the sentencing of garage worker Koci Selamaj for the murder of primary school teacher Sabina Nessa
Court artist sketch of empty dock as Koci Selamaj, killer of school teacher Sabina Nessa, has declined to attend his sentencing in court two of the Old Bailey, London
Court artist sketch of empty dock as Koci Selamaj, killer of school teacher Sabina Nessa, has declined to attend his sentencing in court two of the Old Bailey, London

“The moment the police officer came to our house and told her she was found dead our world shattered into pieces.

“How could you do such a thing to an innocent girl walking by, minding her own business. You are not a human being, you are an animal.”

They described Ms Nessa as kind, funny and determined with a love of animals.

Solace Women’s Aid, have told GB News that in the seven months since Ms Nessa’s death, “70 women will have been killed in the UK” as a result of male violence against women (MVAWG), and more than one hundred will have taken their own lives as a result of the trauma of abuse.

Ahead of today’s sentencing, Isabelle Younane, head of policy, campaigns and public affairs at Women’s Aid said the death was “devastating” adding, “it is appalling that she was yet another woman who could not safely walk home”.

She continued: “Women should be safe wherever they are, at home and in public, and this requires a whole system approach by the UK Government to address male violence against women.

“The reaction to Sabina’s death has not been on the same level as others, and time and time again we see how victims from Black and minoritised communities do not receive the same level of attention and support. This must change.

"Sabina’s death is as unacceptable and shocking as that of any other woman, and our headlines, TV coverage and outrage in our social media posts should reflect this.

Ms Younane has called upon the criminal justice system to make tackling violence against women a priority.

She said: “Until we all face up to and challenge the misogyny and sexism inherent in society- the root of all violence against women- the safety of women and girls will continue to be at risk.”

The body of Ms Nessa, who taught a year one class at Rushey Green Primary School in Catford, was found nearly 24 hours after the initial attack near a community centre in the park.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “Sabina Nessa cruelly lost her life following the harrowing and callous actions of a man who is rightly now behind bars.

“Whilst I cannot possibly know how Sabina’s family and friends are feeling, I hope today’s sentence brings them a small comfort, knowing that this evil monster has faced justice.

“As Home Secretary tackling violence against women and girls is central to my Beating Crime Plan and I am doing everything in my power to target perpetrators, protect the public and make our streets safer for everyone.”

Selamaj, from Eastbourne, East Sussex, was arrested in the seaside town and charged over her death days later.